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Category: Sides

Esquites

Esquites
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

On a bright November afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, the kitchen engines at Broken Spanish, chef Ray Garcia’s modernist Mexican restaurant, are in high holiday gear. Garcia has gathered his core crew, friends and family, for a holiday feast. Across ... Read more

Total time: 1 ½ hours, plus pickling time minutes | Serves 8 to 10
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Broken Spanish restaurant. Poblano chiles can be substituted for the manzano chiles if they are not available. Raw almonds or other nuts can be substituted for the sprouted almonds if they are not available. Vadouvan is available at well-stocked spice stores, as well as online; madras curry powder can be substituted.

Corn sauce

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 pounds sweet corn (5 to 6 ears), shucked and cobs discarded (about 3 ½ cups kernels)
  • 1 small (8 ounces) white onion, quartered
  • About 3 (8 ounces) manzano chiles, seeded and chopped
  • Salt

Step 1In a heavy pot, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the corn, onion and chiles. Cover and very gently cook, over low heat, until everything is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 2Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée for a few minutes until well blended and smooth. Pass the sauce through a very fine strainer. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste. This makes a generous 2 cups sauce.

Pickled blueberries

  • 1 pound blueberries
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Step 1In a nonreactive container or bowl, combine the blueberries and onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the blueberries, cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally (the liquid at first may not seem like it is enough, but the blueberries will begin to soften and release their juices after a few hours). This makes about 4 cups pickled blueberries; more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The blueberries will be ready after 24 hours but are best after 1 month.

Spiced almonds

  • 2 cups sprouted almonds, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons almond or olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vadouvan spice blend
  • Sea salt

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 2Remove from heat and place in a bowl. Toss with the oil, spice blend and ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste.

Avocado leaf powder

  • 10 avocado leaves, stems removed

Step 1Place the avocado leaves in a dehydrator on high until dried, several hours. Remove the leaves and blend to a fine powder.

Step 2Alternatively, substitute dried avocado leaves (often found with packaged dried herbs and spices in Latin markets), finely ground to a powder.

Final dish

  • 8 ears grilled corn, shucked and kernels removed
  • Prepared corn sauce
  • Juice from 6 limes
  • 1/2 cup finely-chopped chives
  • 2/3 cup pickled blueberries
  • 2/3 cup grated firm goat cheese, preferably from Drake Farms
  • 2/3 cup Spiced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Avocado leaf powder
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup finely chopped mint

Step 1In a large, heavy-bottom skillet, combine the grilled corn kernels and corn sauce. Gently simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot. Stir in the lime juice and chives.

Step 2Place the mixture in a serving bowl and garnish with the pickled blueberries, grated cheese, spiced almonds, avocado leaf powder, cilantro and mint. Serve immediately.

Each of 10 servings:
Calories 328; Protein 10 grams; Carbohydrates 38 grams; Fiber 6 grams; Fat 18 grams; Saturated fat 8 grams; Cholesterol 29 mg; Sugar 15 grams; Sodium 172 mg
Have a specific question about a recipe or found a problem? Let us know at food@latimes.com
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